Michael Bird of the James Cook University (Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Sciences) in Cairns and his team are looking for 100.000 year old records of environmental change in the north of Australia. Michael Bird uses Eijkelkamp equipment to take sediment samples. Check the 2 minute video for a research report from the tropical north of Australia.
Long lake sediment records spanning the last 100.000 years will help Michael Bird and his team answer fundamental questions about past environmental change, mega faunal extinction and early human occupation of tropical Australia.
Pilot fieldwork has identified sinkholes of considerable depth and antiquity in the northern Territory of Australia, representing persistent long-term sediment traps akin to crater lakes. This study is assessing the potential of these sinkholes to provide local, dateable, high-resolution palaeo-environmental records, extending through the last interglacial. Michael Bird’s team believes these sedimentary archives, from prior to human colonisation of the continent, will provide the essential, but currently missing data required to determine whether humans modified fire regimes to the extent that monsoon and dry forest types were substituted by savannah in northern Australia.